Idol Listening: Wild Throne’s 15 Most Influential Bands from Washington State
After toiling and touring in the metal and punk underground for years and releasing a critically acclaimed EP via tastemaker label Brutal Panda Records, Wild Throne are set to be catapulted into the bigtime with their upcoming debut full-length Harvest of Darkness, due August 21st via Roadrunner Records. They’re currently out on the road turning heads with their absolutely electrifying live show whilst opening for Royal Thunder; get dates right here (we’ll be at the show this coming Thursday, June 25th at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn!).
To get a read on where the musical heads of this trio are at, we asked drummer Noah Burns to list his favorite albums by bands from Wild Throne’s home state of Washington. Not only is his list incredibly solid and varied — and completely telling of Wild Throne’s mix of metal, post-punk and alternative — but we learned a thing or two about Washington in the process. Check out his playlist below, followed by a brief Q&A. Don’t forget to listen to “War is a Romance,” the new album’s title track, when you’re all done.
1. Akimbo – Forging Steel and Laying Stone
2. Big Business – Here come the Waterworks
3. The Blood Brothers – Burn, Piano Island, Burn
4. Botch – We Are The Romans
5. Federation x – American Folk Horror
6. Grunttruck – Push
7. Helms Alee – Night Terror
8. Juno – A Future Lived in Past Tense
9. Karp – S/T
10. The Narrows – Benjamin
11. Queensryche – Warning
12. Sir Mix-A-Lot – Swass
13. The Sonics – Boom
14. Soundgarden – Badmotorfinger
15. Sunny Day Real Estate – How It Feels To Be Something On
This is a very varied list, but is there any one commonality between these bands that could be said to define a Washington state sound? If so, what is it?
I think one commonality between all these bands is their originality. Most, if not all, were very, very original and continue to be relevant. From the Sonics in the early ’60s in Tacoma — kind of inventing garage rock — to Botch inventing whatever you want to call what they did. That Washington state trend is being avant garde.
Can you talk a bit about Botch’s influence both on Wild Throne and heavy music in general?
Botch were very influential for us. For me, aside from Soundgarden, Helmet and Engine Kid (shit, Engine Kid should be on this list) Botch were the first truly heavy band I listened to. A lot of people come to metal through punk, then Maiden and Priest, etc, but Botch were my gateway band. And what a gateway band they are. Botch showed us that as a band you can do whatever you want. Want to write riffs and grooves that may be based on arbitrary number sequences just ’cause it sounds cool? Fucking do it. Then break the fuck down? Do it.
I feel like Botch’s influence on heavy music is pretty apparent. I don’t want to name names, but I have heard many bands whose music seems VERY specifically informed by We Are The Romans.
Interesting choice of Queensryche album. What makes you choose Warning over their later, more popular albums?
Warning because it rips the hardest. It can hang with so much NWOBHM that was happening at the same time, but it didn’t ever take off. Also Josh [Holland, guitars and vocals] went to the same high school as some of the Queensryche dudes (although decades later).
The same could be said for Soundgarden — not a fan of Superunknown or Down on the Upside?
Fuck that, man. I love Superunknown. Love it. It ties with Louder Than Love for a very, very close second place. Badmotorfinger is just the one. It’s the heaviest and the grooviest, and Cameron’s drumming is a huge inspiration for me. There’s lots of really cool time signature fuckery going on too that’s rather subtle. Soundgarden are the kings of that.
What will it take for Wild Throne to one day be included in the pantheon of great bands from Washington?
I have no idea. Definitely NOT thinking about that yet! We will just continue to make the best, most honest music we possibly can, and play it with as much energy and integrity as possible as often as we are able. I think that’s what everybody on this list did. Including Mix.